One day after fainting during his State of the State address, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has announced that he has prostate cancer.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday where he also discussed his collapse during last night’s speech, Dayton revealed that his diagnosis was made official last Friday.
According to the Minneapolis StarTribune, Dayton said he planned to share his diagnosis next week, after a scheduled medical appointment and said he feels he is up to doing his job.
“People deserve a governor who is on the job, qualified to perform the job intellectually and physically, and I believe I am,” he said.
Despite Minnesota’s reputation as a Democrat-leaning state, in 2011 Dayton became the first member of his party elected to the governorship since Rudy Perpich in 1987, winning re-election four years later. Republicans took over the Minnesota Senate in last November’s election and hold majorities, though not veto-proof, in both houses of the Legislature.
Last night, Dayton fainted just before he was to outline his goal of a partial public option for the Minnesota health insurance market, known as MinnesotaCare. He fainted at a political event last January and was briefly hospitalized. His office said in a statement at that time that the room was hot and stuffy and the governor was experiencing back pain.
Dayton said he hoped to avoid surgery for his condition, which he said was contained within the prostate.